|Speakerboxxx/The Love Below|
|Studio album by|
|Released||September 23, 2003|
|Singles from Speakerboxxx/The Love Below|
Speakerboxxx/The Love Below is the fifth studio album by American hip hop duo Outkast. It was released on September 23, 2003, by Arista Records. Issued as a double album, its length of over two hours is spread across solo albums from both of the group's members. Big Boi's Speakerboxxx is a Southern hip hop album with a P-Funk influence, while André 3000's The Love Below features psychedelic, pop, funk, electro, and jazz styles. 
Speakerboxxx/The Love Below was supported with the hit singles "Hey Ya!" and "The Way You Move", which both reached No. 1 on the US Billboard Hot 100, and the top-10 hit "Roses". The album debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 with sales of 510,000 copies in its first week. It eventually amassed a total of seven non-consecutive weeks at the top of the chart and 24 weeks in the Top 10. It has been certified diamond and 11 times platinum by the RIAA (each disc in the double album counted as a separate unit for certification). As of March 2012, it has sold 5.7 million units in the United States. 
Speakerboxxx/The Love Below received widespread acclaim from music critics, who praised the consistency of Big Boi's Speakerboxxx and the eclectic musical style of André 3000's The Love Below. It topped The Village Voice 's Pazz & Jop critics poll, and won Album of the Year and Best Rap Album at the 46th Grammy Awards, while "Hey Ya!" won Best Urban/Alternative Performance. The album has been acclaimed as one of the greatest albums of the 2000s and was ranked 290th in Rolling Stone’s 2020 edition of their 500 Greatest Albums of All Time list.
Following the release of Outkast's fourth studio album Stankonia (2000), André 3000 felt urged to do something different from his previous projects and moved to Los Angeles to pursue an acting career. He was relatively unsuccessful, landing a minor role in Hollywood Homicide (2003) and a one-episode appearance in the drama series The Shield . He returned to music and recorded a solo album that was different from the material he had recorded as part of Outkast. The output was a blend of pop, jazz and funk with live instruments and singing instead of rapping.  When writing songs, he used a microcassette recorder in order to "record melodic ideas and lyrics, then build the melody around the lyrics". 
The CD artwork is designed so that the Speakerboxxx artwork is on the front of the case, whereas the Love Below artwork is on the back of the case. These images are merged on the artwork displayed on online stores (Front cover on left, back cover on right). The CD booklet and the credits printed within is also divided in half and the back cover is printed on both sides, allowing fans to customize who appears on both the front and back covers.
The recording of The Love Below began at André 3000's Los Angeles home, using Pro Tools software,  in addition to a drum machine, keyboards and various synthesizers.  He enjoyed the atmosphere of recording at home instead of a studio, saying to XXL , "it didn't start in the studio because if you have a bunch of people around, they're coming from the party and I'm in there singing falsetto ... those vibes didn't match." His initial sessions were hampered by his inexperience with Pro Tools and, unaware how to edit his recordings, he opted to record songs such as "Pink & Blue" in their entirety.  Other gear used included an Avalon VT737 SP and AD2055 EQ and AD2044 compressors for his vocals.  After creating five songs, he informed Big Boi of the solo project he had been working on. 
Big Boi had already recorded some songs when André 3000 had contacted him, but after their conversation he decided his next project would be Speakerboxxx.  Describing his approach in the studio, Big Boi later commented to XXL, "the idea was just to keep it funky, keep it jamming, it's always bass-heavy. And lyricism, it's all about lyrics, taking pride in your pen and your pad." His favorite song to record was "Unhappy". He spent several days working on its hook before driving to his mother's home and playing the song in her driveway, to which she responded enthusiastically.  At some point in the recording, the project moved to OutKast's Stankonia Studios in downtown Atlanta, which had been used to record OutKast's previous release and namesake. John Frye, the studio manager and an engineer, would later recognise that much of the media attention surrounding the album's recording was concerned with André 3000 and Big Boi's working relationship and why they had chosen to record separately. He concedes that both enjoyed working solo and were doing so more frequently, but they continued to share and critique each other's music. 
John Frye also describes how the format of the projects changed rapidly. Initially intended as two separate solo releases, they decided to merge their work and create a soundtrack album as André 3000 had initially intended. The duo then began preparing to work on a motion picture, but reconsidered and compromised by interpolating background noise into songs, such as the slamming of car doors and footsteps.   They eventually settled on releasing a double album. Frye noted the end of the recording sessions as particularly stressful for André 3000, who he described as drained from working at four studios simultaneously. In total, an estimated 120 songs were recorded for Speakerboxxx/The Love Below. 
Speakerboxxx/The Love Below is a two-disc set that features 39 tracks, including several interludes and a postlude. It is a concept album  with the intention of each disc delivering each member's individual perspective and sound.  The Love Below is substantially longer than Big Boi's Speakerboxxx, clocking in at almost 78 minutes, compared to 56 minutes for Speakerboxxx. Featured guests on Speakerboxxx include Sleepy Brown, Jazze Pha, Jay-Z, CeeLo Green, Killer Mike, Goodie Mob, Lil Jon and Ludacris. Guests on The Love Below include Rosario Dawson, Norah Jones, Kelis, and Fonzworth Bentley.
According to music journalist Roni Sarig, Speakerboxxx features Southern hip hop with more social awareness than The Love Below, exploring themes of family, philosophy, religion, politics and "a wider emotional terrain ... from melancholy to outrage to expression." 
By contrast, The Love Below is identified by Sarig as showcasing "jazzy pop-funk" comparable to the music of Prince.  Marcello Carlin of Uncut magazine calls it "an avant-soul concept album".  The disc's abounding theme is love, examining the emotions one experiences when falling in love and loving oneself. Sarig suggests that André 3000's break-up with neo soul singer Erykah Badu had influenced much of the lyrical content on the album, which he sees as concerned with the search for true love. 
|Entertainment Weekly||A |
|Los Angeles Times|||
|The Village Voice||A− |
Speakerboxxx/The Love Below was met with widespread critical acclaim. At Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream publications, the album received an average score of 91, based on 26 reviews. 
Reviewing for AllMusic, Stephen Thomas Erlewine called both discs "visionary, imaginative listens, providing some of the best music of 2003, regardless of genre".  Will Hermes wrote in Entertainment Weekly that the album's "ambition flies so far beyond that of anyone doing rap right now (or pop, or rock, or R&B)".  Blender magazine's Kris Ex felt that it "holds an explosion of creativity that couldn't have been contained in just one LP".  The Guardian 's Dorian Lynskey described both discs as "sublime ... hip-hop's Sign o' the Times or The White Album : a career-defining masterpiece of breathtaking ambition".  According to Andy Gill of The Independent , the album set "a new benchmark not just for hip hop, but for pop in general", featuring "so many musical tributaries coursing into both Big Boi's progressive-rap pyrotechnics and Dre's freaky jazz-funk love odyssey that even their old tag of 'psychedelic hip-hop soul' starts to look restrictive".  Stylus Magazine 's Nick Southall called it "a series of spectacular moments and memorable events".  NME magazine's John Mulvey described its two discs as "two Technicolor explosions of creativity that people will be exploring, analysing and partying to for years".  Sal Cinquemani from Slant Magazine wrote that it is "greater than the sum of its parts, and this kind of expertly crafted pop and deftly executed funk rarely happen at the same time—not since Stankonia, at least." 
Less enthusiastic were Rolling Stone magazine's Jon Caramanica, particularly about André 3000 expressing his "right to be peculiar in a hip-hop context",  and Pitchfork 's Brent DiCrescenzo, who said The Love Below does not sustain "consistent brilliance and emotional complexity throughout" like Speakerboxxx.  In The Village Voice , Robert Christgau said the double album could have been "the classic P-Funk rip it ain't quite" had Speakerboxxx alone been issued with "Roses", "Spread", "Hey Ya!", and "an oddity of [André 3000's] choosing". He nonetheless commended what he described as "commercial ebullience, creative confidence, and wretched excess, blessed excess, impressive excess".  In The Rolling Stone Album Guide (2004), Roni Sarig wrote that, "for sheer breadth, ambition, and musical vision, there's little doubt Speakerboxxx/The Love Below is a classic." 
Speakerboxxx/The Love Below was voted as the best album of the year in The Village Voice 's Pazz & Jop critics poll. In Australia, "Hey Ya!" was voted No. 2 on the 2003 Triple J Hottest 100, the country's biggest alternative music poll of its type. The album was nominated for six Grammy Awards, winning three (Album of the Year, Best Urban/Alternative Performance for "Hey Ya!" and Best Rap Album). OutKast's other nominations were for Producer of the Year, Best Short-Form Music Video, and Record of the Year, the latter two both for "Hey Ya!".
In 2009, NME ranked Speakerboxxx/The Love Below No. 44 on its list of the top 100 greatest albums of the decade,  while Newsweek ranked the album No. 1 on its list of the ten best albums of the decade. 
The jazz periodical Down Beat chose it as the best "beyond" album. In 2012 Complex named the album one of the classic albums of the last decade.  In 2013, NME ranked Speakerboxxx/The Love Below at No. 183 on their list of the 500 greatest albums of all time.  The album was also included in the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die .  In Rolling Stone's Top 500 Albums of All-Time, it was ranked No. 290 in the 2020 edition. 
After having had three No. 2 albums on the US Billboard 200, OutKast enjoyed their first chart-topping album with Speakerboxxx/The Love Below. The album debuted at No. 1 during the week of October 11, 2003, selling more than 510,000 copies in its first week. It became the second-biggest debut for a double album during the SoundScan-era (beginning in 1991). The album sold 235,000 copies in its second week, holding its position atop the Billboard chart. Speakerboxxx/The Love Below spent the next three weeks in the top 5 before returning to the top spot for one more week. Sales remained strong, and the album would spend another four weeks at No. 1 between January and February 2004. In all, Speakerboxxx/The Love Below amassed a total of seven weeks at No. 1, 24 weeks in the Top 10, and 56 weeks on the Billboard 200. Speakerboxxx/The Love Below has been certified diamond and 11 times platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America for shipping more than 11 million units (in this case, 5.5 million double album sets, which are double-counted by the RIAA). 
The single "Hey Ya!" went to No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 in the United States, topping the charts there for nine weeks. It was the act's second No. 1 single, following 2000's "Ms. Jackson". "Hey Ya!" also topped the singles charts in Canada and Australia and charted in 28 countries around the world. "Hey Ya!" was also the first platinum download on iTunes. Follow-up single "The Way You Move" knocked "Hey Ya!" off the top of the charts in the US in February 2004, just the seventh time a recording act replaced itself at No. 1. "The Way You Move" topped the singles chart for one week. The third single released from the album was "Roses" from The Love Below, which reached No. 9. The fourth and fifth singles released, "Prototype (The Love Below)" and "GhettoMusick (Speakerboxxx)", did not chart.
|2.||"Ghetto Musick"||André 3000||3:56|
|4.||"Bowtie" (featuring Sleepy Brown and Jazze Pha)||Big Boi||3:56|
|5.||"The Way You Move" (featuring Sleepy Brown)||3:54|
|7.||"Bust" (featuring Killer Mike)||Big Boi||3:09|
|10.||"Bamboo (Interlude)" (performed by Big Boi and Bamboo)||2:10|
|11.||"Tomb of the Boom" (featuring Konkrete, Big Gipp, and Ludacris)||Big Boi||4:46|
|12.||"E-Mac (Interlude)" (performed by E-Mac)||0:25|
|14.||"Flip Flop Rock" (featuring Killer Mike and Jay-Z)||4:36|
|16.||"Reset" (featuring Khujo and Cee-Lo)||Big Boi||4:36|
|17.||"D-Boi (Interlude)" (performed by Henry Welch)||0:40|
|18.||"Last Call" (featuring Slimm Calhoun, Lil Jon & The East Side Boyz, and Mello)||André 3000||3:58|
All tracks are written by André Benjamin, except where noted. All tracks produced by André 3000, except "Roses" produced by Dojo5 and André 3000.
|1.||"The Love Below (Intro)"||1:27|
|3.||"God (Interlude)" (performed by André 3000)||2:20|
|4.||"Happy Valentine's Day"||5:23|
|6.||"Where Are My Panties? (Interlude)" (performed by André 3000 and Toni Hunter)||1:54|
|8.||"She Lives in My Lap" (featuring Rosario Dawson)||4:27|
|11.||"Good Day, Good Sir (Interlude)" (performed by Benjamin André and Fonzworth Bentley)||1:24|
|12.||"Behold a Lady"||4:37|
|13.||"Pink & Blue"||5:04|
|14.||"Love in War"||3:25|
|16.||"Dracula's Wedding" (featuring Kelis)||2:32|
|17.||"The Letter" (featuring Qasha Aman)||0:21|
|18.||"My Favorite Things"||5:14|
|19.||"Take Off Your Cool" (featuring Norah Jones)||2:38|
|21.||"A Life in the Day of Benjamin André (Incomplete)"||5:11|
Credits adapted from the album's liner notes.
|Australia (ARIA) ||2× Platinum||140,000|
|Canada (Music Canada) ||Gold||50,000^|
|Denmark (IFPI Danmark) ||Gold||20,000^|
|Germany (BVMI) ||Gold||100,000^|
|Hungary (MAHASZ) ||Gold||10,000^|
|Japan (RIAJ) ||Gold||100,000^|
|New Zealand (RMNZ) ||2× Platinum||30,000^|
|Norway (IFPI Norway) ||Gold||20,000*|
|Sweden (GLF) ||Gold||30,000^|
|Switzerland (IFPI Switzerland) ||Gold||20,000^|
|United Kingdom (BPI) ||2× Platinum||600,000^|
|United States (RIAA) ||11× Platinum||5,500,000^|
|Europe (IFPI) ||Platinum||1,000,000*|
* Sales figures based on certification alone.
Aquemini is the third studio album by American hip hop duo Outkast. It was released on September 29, 1998, by LaFace Records. The title is a portmanteau of the two performers' Zodiac signs: Aquarius and Gemini, which is indicative of the album's recurring theme of the differing personalities of the two members. The group recorded the majority of the album in Bobby Brown's Bosstown Recording Studios and Doppler Studios, both in Atlanta, Georgia.
"Player's Ball" is the debut single from hip hop duo Outkast. Originally released two weeks prior on the compilation A LaFace Family Christmas, the single was released on November 19, 1993, to promote the forthcoming debut album, Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik. The song itself discusses the nature of living in the South of the United States, and growing up within a hip hop culture. The accompanying music video was directed by Sean "Puff Daddy" Combs.
André Lauren Benjamin, better known as André 3000, is an American rapper, singer, songwriter, record producer and actor. He is best known for being a part of southern hip hop duo Outkast alongside fellow rapper Big Boi.
"Hey Ya!" is a song performed by American hip-hop duo Outkast, specifically group member André 3000, who wrote and produced the song. Along with "The Way You Move", recorded by Outkast's other member Big Boi, "Hey Ya!" was released by Arista Records as one of the two lead singles from the duo's fifth album, Speakerboxxx/The Love Below, on August 25, 2003. The track became a commercial success, reaching number one in the United States, Australia, Canada, the Czech Republic, Norway, and Sweden. "Hey Ya!" received critical acclaim upon release, and is consistently ranked as one of the greatest songs of the 2000s.
Stankonia is the fourth studio album by American hip hop duo Outkast. It was released on October 31, 2000, by LaFace Records. The album was recorded in the duo's recently purchased Atlanta recording facility Stankonia Studios, which allowed for fewer time and recording constraints, and featured production work from Earthtone III and Organized Noize.
"Ms. Jackson" is a song by American hip hop duo Outkast, consisting of André 3000 and Big Boi. It was released on October 24, 2000, as the second single from Outkast's fourth album, Stankonia. It topped the US Billboard Hot 100 chart for one week on February 17, 2001, and also reached number one in Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, and Sweden. Rolling Stone ranked it at number 55 on their "100 Best Songs of the 2000s" list in June 2011 and at number 145 on their "Top 500 Greatest Songs of All Time" list in 2021. In October 2011, NME placed it at number 81 on its list of the "150 Best Tracks of the Past 15 Years".
ATLiens is the second studio album by American hip hop duo Outkast. It was released on August 27, 1996, by Arista Records and LaFace Records. From 1995 to 1996, Outkast recorded ATLiens in sessions at several Atlanta studios—Bosstown Recording Studios, Doppler Recording Studios, PatchWerk Recording Studio, Purple Dragon Studios, and Studio LaCoCo—as well as Chung King Recording Studio and Sound On Sound Recording in New York City.
Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik is the debut studio album by American hip hop duo Outkast, released on April 26, 1994, by Arista Records and LaFace Records. Having befriended each other two years prior, rappers André 3000 and Big Boi pursued recording music as a duo and worked with production team Organized Noize, leading to a record contract with LaFace. With the team producing, Outkast recorded the album at the Dungeon, D.A.R.P. Studios, Purple Dragon, Bosstown, and Doppler Studios, all in Atlanta.
Mr. DJ is an American hip-hop producer and DJ from Atlanta. He and Outkast members Big Boi and André 3000 make up the record production company Earthtone III.
"The Way You Move" is a hip-hop and soul song performed by Big Boi of American hip hop duo OutKast. The song features OutKast mentor Sleepy Brown on guest vocals. Along with "Hey Ya!", recorded by OutKast's other member André 3000, "The Way You Move" is one of the two lead singles from Speakerboxxx/The Love Below, OutKast's double album project that includes a solo album from each member.
Idlewild is the sixth and final studio album by American hip hop duo Outkast. It was released on August 22, 2006, by LaFace Records and served as the soundtrack album to the duo's musical film of the same name, which was released that same month. Containing themes relating to the music industry, the album also featured songs not included in the film while incorporating jazz, blues, swing, and soul styles in its music.
"Roses" is a song by American hip hop duo OutKast. It was released on March 1, 2004, as the third single from their 2003 double album, Speakerboxxx/The Love Below. It appears on André 3000's The Love Below disc and is the only track on his disc to feature Big Boi. The track was largely popular in the United Kingdom and the United States, peaking at number four on the UK Singles Chart and number nine on the Billboard Hot 100. It also found popularity in Australia, reaching number two on the Australian Singles Chart.
The discography of Outkast, an American hip hop duo, consists of six studio albums, one compilation album, one soundtrack album, one video album, 32 singles, three promotional singles, and 21 music videos. In 1992, Outkast became the first hip hop act to be signed to the label LaFace Records; with their first studio album Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik (1994) that debuted at number 20 on the US Billboard 200. Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik spawned the commercially successful single "Player's Ball", which reached number 37 on the US Billboard Hot 100. It was later certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). Their following two albums, ATLiens (1996) and Aquemini (1998), were commercially successful in the United States; both albums peaked at number two on the Billboard 200, and were certified double-platinum by the RIAA. Three singles were released from each album; all three from ATLiens charted on the Billboard Hot 100, with "Elevators " peaking at number 12, making it the most successful. The lead single from Aquemini, "Rosa Parks", peaked at number 55 on the Billboard Hot 100: two more singles, "Skew It on the Bar-B" and "Da Art of Storytellin' ", were released from the album. In 1998, Outkast collaborated with hip hop group Goodie Mob on the single "Black Ice " and with rapper Cool Breeze on the single "Watch for the Hook"; the singles peaked at numbers 50 and 73 on the Billboard Hot 100, respectively.
"Ghetto Musick" / "Prototype" are songs by American hip-hop duo OutKast, released as the fourth and final single from their fifth studio album, Speakerboxxx/The Love Below (2003). "Ghetto Musick" is on Disc 1 (Speakerboxxx) and "Prototype" is on Disc 2 (The Love Below). "Ghetto Musick" was released as a CD single in the United Kingdom on September 22, 2003, and "Prototype" was serviced to US radio in September 2004. The double A-side version was issued in Australia in November 2004, and "Ghetto Musick" was added to US radio during the same month.
"Jazzy Belle" is the third and last single from hip hop duo Outkast's second studio album, ATLiens. It was released as a remix single and it peaked at #52 on the Billboard Hot 100. The song is the only single from the album ATLiens to be produced by Organized Noize, the other two singles being produced by OutKast themselves.
Sir Lucious Left Foot: The Son of Chico Dusty is the debut studio album by American rapper Big Boi, released on July 5, 2010, by Purple Ribbon Records and Def Jam South Recordings. It is his first solo album, following his work as a member of the hip hop duo OutKast. Production for the album took place primarily at Stankonia Recording Studio in Atlanta during 2007 to 2010 and was handled by several record producers, including Organized Noize, J Beatzz, Scott Storch, Salaam Remi, Mr. DJ, and André 3000, among others.
Outkast was an American hip hop duo formed in Atlanta, Georgia, in 1992, consisting of rappers André "3000" Benjamin and Antwan "Big Boi" Patton. The duo achieved both critical and commercial success from the mid-1990s to the early 2000s, helping to popularize Southern hip hop with their intricate lyricism, memorable melodies, and positive themes, while experimenting with a diverse range of genres such as funk, psychedelia, jazz, and techno.
The discography of American rapper and singer André 3000 consists of one extended play (EP), one single as a lead artist, and eleven singles as a featured artist, including one promotional single.
Neal H Pogue is an American producer, audio engineer and mixer originally from Roselle, New Jersey, and based in Los Angeles. Pogue is a multi-time Grammy Award winner, having first won for his engineering and mixing work on Outkast's Speakerboxxx/The Love Below (2004) – which won the Album of the Year category, and his audio mixing work on Tyler, The Creator's Igor & Call Me If You Get Lost – which both records won the Best Rap Album category respectively in 2020 & 2022. Pogue has also produced for artists such as M.I.A, Nelly Furtado, Earth, Wind & Fire and has mixed for artists such as TLC, Pink, Nicki Minaj, Janelle Monáe, Tyler, the Creator, and Steve Lacy. Having engineered and mixed TLC's Grammy nominated 11-time platinum single "Waterfalls", Pogue also arranged the horns on "Waterfalls" under the pseudonym "Shock". Pogue has gone on to work with many prominent names in music.
Antwan André Patton, better known by his stage name Big Boi, is an American rapper, songwriter, and record producer. He is best known for being a member of the southern hip hop duo Outkast alongside André 3000. Big Boi's solo debut album Sir Lucious Left Foot: The Son of Chico Dusty was released in July 2010 to critical acclaim. He released his second studio album Vicious Lies and Dangerous Rumors in 2012. Boomiverse, his third studio album, was released in June 2017.